BUNNINGS has announced it plans to open a new trade distribution centre in Bundaberg as the axe falls on the company’s truss and wall frames manufacturing plant.
The Scotland Street facility will be shut down later this month as the company shifts focus away from manufacturing and focuses on its national trade distribution network.
Bunnings trade general manager Jeff Nichol said the move had come after a review of the company’s Bundaberg interests.
“We feel our expertise is more in distribution than in manufacturing, and we believe we will be able to offer the best value to our customers through supplying trade materials rather than manufacturing,” he said.
The manufacturing plant’s 13 employees have been given the option to continue employment at the Bunnings Warehouse store on Faircloth Crescent.
Mr Nichol said a period of downturn in the local building industry had dissuaded the company from establishing a trade distribution centre sooner.
“We’ve seen a decrease in Bundaberg building activity in recent years, which has been difficult, but there are good signs ahead,” he said.
“The industry is moving forward and we believe Bundaberg is a good region to keep investing in.”
Mr Nichol believed the business would be welcomed by tradesmen in the region.
“There’s plenty of manufacturing capacity in the region and we think there would be plenty of operators wishing to take advantage of a trade centre,” he said.
“From a trade point of view, I think it would be a benefit for local businesses.”
Bunnings refused to comment on speculation it had moved to purchase land near its existing warehouse on Faircloth Crescent to build the trade distribution centre.
The trade distribution centre would be in addition to a similar venture in Hervey Bay and one of 29 centres nationally.